Peanuts: a cardio protective powerhouse

The mayor of Burlington Iowa gave me the nickname peanut butter. Why would a registered dietitian be nicknamed, Peanut butter? Keep reading.


This tale has a delicious ending. It’s true that big things come in small packages. The tiny peanut is actually a legume (a dried bean). Eating peanuts and nut butters like peanut butter helps keep your ticker ticking, reduce heart disease risk by 15%. I recommended the consumption of nuts (any kind) five to seven times a week.



Peanuts earn top honors for:

  1. Providing 7 grams of tummy satisfying protein (per ounce)

  2. Cardio protective nutrients, including Vit E, folic acid, niacin, magnesium, and potassium.

  3. Packing phytosterol and antioxidants, to keep the cardiologist at bay.

  4. Heart healthy fats to help rotor rooter out LDL cholesterol.

  5. Fiber – a cholesterol soaker-upper


Peanut butter isn’t just for sandwiches anymore. Try it in:

1. Soups

2. Salad dressings

3. Smoothies

4. Oatmeal

5. And my favorite….Peanut butter popcorn.


I use to bring Peanut butter popcorn to the city council meetings and the mayor enjoyed it so much, hence my nickname.



Peanut Butter Popcorn

May you enjoy it as much as the mayor does:


All you need:

  • Popcorn – 1 batch air popped or microwavable (6 cups popped corn)

  • Peanut butter (about ¾ cup)

  • Honey (approx. 5 TBSP)

  • Dark chocolate chips, dried cranberries or M & Ms, one half cup


All you do:

  1. Pop corn, remove un-popped kernels. Put into a large bowl.

  2. Microwave the honey and peanut butter until softened, 30-60 sec. *Watch closely as honey can burn. Stir to combine.

  3. Pour over popcorn. Mix to coat kernels.

  4. Toss in chips. Store in airtight container.



Measurements for honey and peanut butter do not have to be exact. Search for ways to add the tiny peanut into your life. While doing so may not earn you the nickname, peanut butter, the heart benefits you gain can be so much more.




Blog Provided by Lynda Murray, MA, RDN

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